When the new NHL hockey arena opened in 2018, many believed the move would improve the league’s finances and the quality of its hockey product.
Now, with the arena on track to open in 2019, many believe the league will also be on track for an improved revenue stream for its owners.
“I believe we are going to see a lot of revenue coming into the league,” said Marc Lasry, executive vice-president of business development for the NHLPA, in a phone interview.
“We are going in the right direction.”
Lasry said that in the next five years, the NHL will expect to generate around $3 billion to $4 billion per year in annual revenue, depending on the revenue generated by the new arena.
That’s on top of the $1 billion per season already generated by Lasry and the league in 2019-20.
Lasry did not specify how much of that revenue would come from the NHL players association, which the NHL previously had said would be on board.
But Lasry has indicated that the NHL would not make any financial concessions to players to help them keep playing.
The NHLPA has said that it has not been approached by any players about changing the way the game is played or the way they are compensated.
Instead, Lasry indicated that he expects the league to continue to support its players through the transition.
“What we have done in the past is support them as they transition from being part of our business, and to support them financially when they do go into the arena and play,” Lasry told NHL.com.
“So we will continue to be supportive of them, and we will support them when they move into the new space.”
He added that the players have not been given a choice about the league, but they have the option of joining the league or staying home.
The league also has no obligation to offer players an opportunity to play in the new building.
“The league is not required to offer the option to go to the new place,” Lasries said.
“They can go play somewhere else.”
In the past, the players’ association has lobbied the league for more financial support, but Lasry emphasized that the league has no power to dictate the salaries of players.
“Our job is to support the players and we support the league and our owners as they move forward,” Lasrys said.
Lasrys indicated that, with a $2.5 billion renovation to the NHL arena, the league may also consider cutting some salaries.
He did not say when that could happen.
The new arena will also include a new concourse, which is expected to be ready for the 2019-2020 season, and additional suites, and a new ice rink.
The ice rink will also have a retractable roof, and the new concourses will feature smaller, more intimate areas for fans to sit in.
The construction of the new hockey arena is expected start this fall, with full-time workers being brought in to help out the construction.
But the construction of a new building and the opening of a temporary arena may take years to complete.
Lasries indicated that there was a lot more work that the building would take to complete, but added that it would not be “a huge issue” as long as the building was completed.
“When you think about how big the building is, we have to do the work,” Lasery said.